Guillaume Pitron (2018)

Is the “green” revolution actually a “ruse”? This book would have one believe so.

It’s certainly useful to have “the dark side of clean energy” explored in some depth. Many of the observations are chilling, from the environmental impacts of mining to their political consequences in those parts of the world where they occur – and the ever-present shadow of China seeking to get a lock on strategic minerals that will power a world increasingly dependent on rare-earth magnets and specialist semiconductors. In many ways these consequences are the “resource curse” of oil repeating itself, as countries with minerals to extract are exploited and bullied by the companies (and countries) wanting to extract them.

I have to say that the book isn’t a convincing read, despite its wealth of anecdotes and quotes. Perhaps this is because the quotes tend to be unattributed, and the science quite shallow. Having said that, it’s pacey and well-structured, and a warning that the move away from fossil fuels involves a lot of shady dealing.

3/5. Finished Saturday 24 June, 2023.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)